Fruit Storage 101

Heatwaves are forecast across much of the U.S. this summer. This is unwelcome news for most of us—sweaty commutes, poor air quality, and less time to enjoy the outdoors. Snacking on fresh fruit is a great way to hydrate, stay cool, and avoid feeling sluggish during summer’s dog days. But excessive heat can cause many types of fruit to ripen, and sometimes spoil, more quickly.

The FruitGuys makes every effort to ensure your fruit is delivered in optimal condition. If you’re ever unhappy with the quality of the fruit we deliver, we’ll replace it or issue a credit immediately—no hassles—just contact us. We want you to be delighted with your order every time, and we aim to constantly improve our policies and procedures.

Once you receive your fruit, here are a few tips to keep it fresh longer when the heat is on:

  • Apples: Apples should be kept uncovered in a cool space away from sunlight and heat. Depending on the variety, they’ll keep for up to two weeks. When refrigerated, most apples can be stored for three to four weeks, and they’re an extra-refreshing treat. Note that it’s best not to refrigerate apples in a drawer or bag, as the ethylene gas they produce in enclosed spaces will continue to ripen the fruit.
  • Bananas: America’s favorite fruit is surprisingly fragile. They’re easily damaged by extreme temperatures (cold and hot) and humidity. We strive to deliver our bananas yellow with green tips to allow for optimal counter ripening. Keep bananas at room temperature and away from direct sunlight and heat. They become yellow, soft, and sweet as they ripen. If you want to speed the ripening process, put them in a paper bag with an apple overnight. The natural ethylene gas released by the apple will help ripen them. Refrigerating bananas will turn their peels black, but the flesh inside will continue to ripen, even refrigerated, and can still be eaten or, if too ripe, used for baking.
  • Berries: Berries are picked ripe and should be enjoyed as soon as possible. Refrigerate and do not wash them until you’re ready to eat (or freeze) them.
  • Cherries: Refrigerate unwashed cherries in a plastic bag for up to 10 days. Before eating, rinse cherries and let them come to room temperature for the best flavor.
  • Citrus: Oranges, lemons, and limes can be stored at room temperature away from direct sunlight for a couple of weeks. Refrigerated, they’ll stay fresh for several weeks.
  • Mangoes: Mangoes can be stored at room temperature and will continue to ripen. When they give slightly to the touch, they’re ready to eat. Refrigerate mangoes to slow down the ripening process.
  • Nectarines/Peaches: All stone fruit, including apricots, plums, and their hybrids, are climacteric, which means they ripen after picking. They should be stored at room temperature, away from sunlight and heat, until they give softly to the touch and have a sweet aroma. Ripening can be hastened by placing them in a paper bag on the counter. When they’ve reached the desired ripeness, you can refrigerate them, but chilling can lead to a mealy, flavorless texture.

For more detailed storage and ripening ideas, visit our Ripening and Storage page. Every fruit has a different shelf life. We deliver stone fruit and pears firm, as they are less likely to bruise during transit and will continue to ripen. Other fruit—berries, for example—should be eaten within two to three days of delivery. Items such as apples or oranges will last a week or more, depending on how they’re stored.

If you have any issue with your delivery or aren’t 100% satisfied with your fruit, contact us right away at or 1-877-FRUIT-ME (1-877-378-4863).

Elisabeth Flynn is a Philadelphia-based writer and editor and has spent the last 15 years working in the nonprofit/social innovation sector, including stints at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Mazzoni Center, an LGBTQ-focused health and wellness provider.

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